Strain, self-control, and spousal violence: A study of husband-to-wife violence in Hong Kong

Yuet W. Cheung, Susanne Y. P. Choi, Adam K. L. Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examines the applicability of Agnew's strain theory and Gottfredson and Hirschi's self-control theory in explaining husband-to-wife psychological aggression and physical assault in a community survey of 871 couples in Hong Kong. Three strains, each belonging to 1 type of Agnew's types of strain, were selected, namely, dissatisfaction with family financial situation, dissatisfaction with relationship with spouse, and physical abuse by parents in childhood. Self-control was measured with a simplified version of 12 items selected from the 24-item Self-control Scale developed by Grasmick, Tittle, Bursik, and Ameklev (1993). The conditioning effect of self-control on the relationship between strain and husband-to-wife violence was also examined. Results show that 2 of the 3 types of strain and self-control significantly affected both types of spousal violence. In addition, self-control has a conditioning effect on the relationship between strain and husband-to-wife violence, reducing the likelihood of strain leading to violence. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-299
JournalViolence and Victims
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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